tv KQED Newsroom PBS April 13, 2019 1:00am-1:31am PDT
. from immigration to cyber security. former homeland security chief, janet napolitanoalks with us about how to keep america safe. also, physicians at the border. a court ling on asylum seekers deals another blow to the trump administration's immigration policies. and valerie jarrett. former senior adviser to president obama shares her journey from segregated chicago to the white house. hello and welcome to kqed newsroom. we begin with homeland janet napolitano headed the department of homeland security under president obama from 2009 two 2013. when she took over, the agency was less than a decade old but responsible for a vast range of security challenges, including i mmigration, terrorism, cyber
security and natural disaste response. n her new book, "how safe are we," she surveys thethsecurity reats and rising threats. she argues the most urgent threats are climate change and cyber security. joining me is former secretary of homeland security, janet napolitano. she currently heads the university of california system. nice to have you back onog our m. >> thank you. >> i have to ask you about the chaotic week we have seen at the department of homeland security. secretary kirstjen nielsen resigned under pressure and one day later the director of the secret service was gone. what do you make of these dei elopments? >>ink they're very worrisome. there are lots of oer vacancies in the leadership ranks of the department right now, and this is a department which has massive responsibilities for the security of the hcountry. so kind of leadership insnkbility i t should worry
us all. >> a key issue isio immigr border officials say they're seeing nearly 100,000 migrants a moboth at the er, and that surge isn't slowing down. is there something to be said for president trump's need for a hard line approach when he says that's exactly what right now? a well, he's been pursuing hard line approach for two years now. and it's not working. and it doesn't work for a number of reasons. but the issues at the border now need to be dealt with differently. they need to be dealt with by a rera sgy. not rhetoric. and what it requires is putting more man power atheorder, putting more man power at the more of entry, putting immigration judges right at the border so thatcasylum claims be processed fairly and expeditiously. >> what about his calls for constructing a border wall? >> no. a wall is a symbol.
it's not a strategy. and the notion that we're going to construct wall across 1,940 it's of border, it's -- expensive. and it won't work. and that's the important thing. what will work is adding manpower, adding mre technology, sustaining air cover across the border. that's a real strategy. under the obama administration,g we drovetion across the southwest border to 40-year lows and did it by having a multiprong strategy. not a wall. >> speaki you just brought up, your book is a report card of sorts on how the nation is don security. and in it you say one of the areas where we're performingrl very p is cyber security. covering everything from voting ystems to companies that have information on our banking data, our medical records. what should we be doing right now in the area of cyber security and technology that
will help us protect the nation >> so cyber security is enormously complex. there are so many players. first of all, you've got the federal governnt and lots of agencies in the federal government touch on cyber. you've got state and localities. you've got the pri that plays a very important role. and you have our linternatio allies and others, because as we know, cyber doesn't respect national borders. one of the things i recommend in the book is that we have a presidentially established commission thatet brings tor the stakeholders. and i outline ten specificat questions such a commission should address. but weed desperately n more leadership in this area than we have seen to date.u >> and say the other biggest national security threat we're facing is climate change. you write, qunie, the mde is universal.
the threat is -- the threat likeliod is 100%. but we have a situation now where we have a presidedo who n't agree with that. and who has vowed to pull out of the parisate accord. so given the current political situation, how do go abou mitigating the threat of climate change? >> well, i think we should address it in tw ways. number one, the united states needs to play its part in reducing the rate of climate change that already is occurring. at's why wehould stay in the paris accords. but number two, we need toos on adaptation to the climate change that already has and this gets down into some very pragmatic, weaty subjects. where do we build our roads? how do we construct our bridges? what kinds of building materils do we use? how do we encourage the development of fire-wise communities in areas that are near these drought -- y kno
forests impacted by drought? you know, that whole question of adaptation is a function of really looking at the problems that are now and understanding that climate is actually a security risk, because it impacts the safety of americans. >> and those are things that cities and states can do independent of the government. >> absolutely. and ought to be doing. and need to be doing it vry intentionally. understanding that, you know, the sea levels are rising. i think of this every timet i e off from the oakland airport and you look out, you know, where the water is next to the runway. but, you know, sea levels are rising on both coasts. we see thesi incr frequency and intensity of weather events. rindfall hunes, tornadoes, wildfires out west. we had a disastrous season last year in california. we need to do much more by way of adaptation. >> yeah. let's swit gears and talk about the college admissions
scandal. both ucla a uc berkeley have been implicated. and last month you ordered internal investigation. what are you finding so far? have you found any other uc campuses that are guilty of similar activities? >> so first of all, i was so angry when that case came down, because, you know, we really try to do admissions and turn a very square corner so students are admitted on theirmerits, not because of some undue so our head of our audit office is conductang investigation. we're currently mapping what each of the campuses does by way of anything approaching special admissions, for le, poor theater r musicians or arts majors. and once we have that mapped where we identify areasar of pcular risk, we'll drill downghven more thor on those. >> will there be any penalties
for the students who are involved? >> you ow,hat will involve looking at the facts of each individual student'scase. did the student know, should the student have known that they weregetting inased on an unfair influence? and so those studentsoo will be d at individually. >> and what are you doing now to tighten uc's own procedures to help prevent fraudult admissions? >> so first of all, we have to identify, you , where are the possible risks in the system. and that's what our investigation is aimed at identifying now. so just to be clear, students are evaluated based on 14 c hteria. then we some categories. we have something called admissions by exception. this is for students who are not otherwise eligible for the university. they could be homeschooled. they could be r from someal
high schools that don't offer the requisite classu'. >> but take those things into account. >> we can take those things into account. it's a very, very small numb of our admitees. but we want to look at that. and then there's a whole category of special admissions. these are students who are eligible for the university, but they get in because of a special talent. hletics, music, i already mentioned those kinds of things. that's a system that we also want to make sure is very tight. >> all right. janet napolitano, head of the uc system, and your new book out is called "how safe are we?" thank you so muhe for being re. >> thank you. moving on now to a deeper focus on immigration, today the trump administration said it will seek an emergency court order to keep sending migrants ba to mexico while their asylum claims are decided. federalthis week, a judge in san francisco had temporarily halted that program. on wednesday, president trump traveled to texas, where a fund-raiser, and claimsbohat
er crossings threaten the securit of americans. meanwhile, hundreds of migrants are showing up daily at the border, draining resources tom detain tnd processing their asylum claims. grining me now with a closer look at the imion landscape are julian aguilar, immigration and border security reporter withhe "texas tribune." he joins us via skype from el paso, texas. and a law professor from santa clara university. nice to have both of you here. >> thank you faving me. >> julian, let's begin with you. you're there on the border. what have you seen there? is the tide of asylum seekers truly at crisis proportions as president says it is. >> the word crise has thrown around a lot and i think even now democrats are starting to adopt thatlt termough they apply to humanitarian crisis where supporters say it's a security anumanitarian crisis. which en sort of hard line security stance. but the numbers are definitely we saw even last week, a week and a half ago, where border
patutl wasng asylum seekers underneath the bridge. this is outside. they had a military-style tent and folks sleeping outside. and they said that was because it was full. i talked to directors, nonprofit organizattans, nongovernm organizations that say they're scrambling to find shelters for these so they're worried people will end up on the streets, you know, at the bus ostation, with place to go. so -- >> thprofessor, trump administration is now asking for an emergency court order so it can continue to keep its policy of sending migras back to mexico while they wait for their decided.ases to be so what is going to happen with the migrants now, given that there was another federal court order decision earlier this week that said therarump adminion could not send them back to mexico? >> that's right. so on monday, a federal court udge said the trump policy, which is known colloquially as the not mexico policy, woulle't
l so the trump administration is asking a higher court to review it and is also aski thathigher court to set aside the first court's ruliha. but until higher court makes that decision, the lower court ruling stays which means the policy cannot be enforced. all right. so still some uncertainty there. the trump administration, meanwhile, wants to tighten the rules around who can receive asylum and in the past attorney general jeff sessions suggested people should rarelybe granted asylum based on domestic violence or gang violence oeaims. where the current attorney general, william or, stan that? >> it's hard to know, with jeff sessions, the attorney general, he took a case to himself. it's a very rare step for an attorney general to do. nd in that case, he made a blanket ruling, essentially, that he thought that underneath the asylum standards, people fleeing fromomestic violence or gang violence would not be able to make those claims. that -- histtempt to change the policy in that regard was overturned by a court, by a federal court. with regards to william barr,
it's not clear yet. when he was attorney general under george h.w. bush, we're in a different time from the news coming out more recently, he's trying to implement policies to amline the appeals process to make it quicker. to not allow hethink full process rights that asylum seekers might have. and so wle he may not be implementing the same exact policy of sessions,l it'sr also he is willing to take the hard line immigration stance. >> and so how much of this situation we're currently seeing at the border, how much of that is beyondhe u.s. government's control, and how much of it is self-inflicted due to strict detention policies that have been put in place? >> right. i think one of the misconceptions thatthe federal vernment is laboring under, at least the trump administration, is that migration andti mig control at the border is something that the united states can unilaterally stt. the f is, you have central american countries, especially th northern triangle countries,
el salvador, guatemala, honduras, at this point on the verge of beingiled states, corrupt governments, extreme violence. people are running from extreme desperation. they need to00 travel 2, miles just to get to the border, some with families. under thoseconditions, the number of people and families coming is unlikely to be spped an enforcement-only policy. >> so detention is not a deterrent. if they're willing to risk death to make these dangerous journeys. >> that's exactly right. i mean, people make these journeys knowing there is a risk of death. knowing that if they'regoing to cross illegally, that is six, seven days in the dead of heat e desert, where people die and routinely die doing that. and yet they're willingdo to it. and so what has been proven over the last three, four years, if not even beyond that, is things like detention. family separation. detention these things -- enforcement-only policy isot going to deter asylum seekers. >> so the original court order
ways in place. but julian,at does this mean thens for the aylum seekers who have already been se back to mexico? i understand speaking to some of the attorneys with the aclu who argued this case before the judge in california, those folks are going to be stuck in mexico until their court dates. for example, i spoke to a family last week whose court date is april 25th. they are stuck until that. but my understanding is once they appearefore the judge, they cannot be resent back to mexico. so they have to wait it out. unfortunately, some court dates are earlier than others. >> julian, the president has lepurged topership at the department of homeland security and senin sending mixed signals about whether he'll revive the family separation program. do you have any indication aat this point as to o is leading immigration policy at the white house? >> well, the esident took offense to the notion he was cleaning house and said it's all up to him. bu we haveeen him replace
high-ranking officials that, for example, a former secretary nielsen who apparently was n s tough as he wanted her to be on immigration. so i think that's -- causedl a of concern for the immigrant rights community that the person who putpl ie family separations wasn't quote, unquote, tough enough for the esident. so, you know, the president changes what he says from one day to the next so it could change by this time next week. >> and roughly three quarters of the immigrants being detained are held i for-profit cilities, in part because the government doesn't have enough room for them in engoverrun facilities. and last october, government inspectors released a scathing report about the conditions and the tatment of detainees at one of those what legal rights do these migrants have at the facilities, at thefor-profit facilities? and how do they compare to those at government-un facilities? right. i mean, certainly what we see now is a greator incentive the government to accomplish detention through the use of for-profit detention companies of the private companies.
part of the reason the government likes that is becaust then, oney don't have the responsibility of doing it, and it gives them legal barriers t certain types of suits people might bring. so with regard to the conditions in these place, right now we're starting to seeome suits starting to make their way through state courts, some federal courts, abou the conditions of confinement, ntich, as you said, govern reports have already shown that there have been -- the conditions there violate some basic ideas of how people should be held. but that is part of the problem with the private detentionce er. one, it's a big driver of our immigration enforcement system. and two, the conditions there are hard to monitor, hard to bring to account through litigation. >> but it also creates an incentive to keep people in detention if these are privately run, for-profit centers. >> that's exactly right. i mean, if one wants toa think io it, this is the private immigration dete industrial complex. and you can already see the
effects of it. there is currently a congressional mandate that congress is going to pay for roughly 35,000 immigration beds a night. people are trying to push that to 50,000. you can bet that the major lobbyists for that are goingo be from t private detention companies. >> julian, you've interviewed asylum seekers at the border. here have been many shifting policies from the trump administration on immigration. wt are you hearing from them about their reaction to thoseg policy ch and does that affect their decision on whether to cross the border? >> well, the decision is ultimately made up by the fact they can't live in those countries. a lot of folks saying, look, i've got to get out of central america, it's tooer das. but what sort of makes me feel better about it or makes them feel the time is right is the fact the smugglers know to tell them all these policies are on hold. the wall is coming upe so the t get out thereof and seek asylum in the united states is now. >> julian aguilar, thank you very much. and also thanks to professor
deep gulasecuruon with santa clara university. now to the life journey of former president obama's longest adviser valerie jarrett stayed for both terms and was a long-time family confidante. fore entering public service, she worked as aer corporate law while raising her daughter as a single mother. since then she has become one of the most influential african-american women of the 21st century. advocating for gender equality, civil rights and criminal justice reform. in her new book, "finding my voice," jarrett sheds light on key momentsma of the ob presidency while also revealing intimate details of her own life. valerie jarrett is now seniordv er to the obama foundation, and she joins me now. so nice to have you here. >> thank you. thank you. it such a pleasure f me to be with you today. >> you had such an interesting childhood. your father was a pathologist and moved the family to iran i s e 1950s because there were
more opportunit that time in iran than in america for black doctors. you were born in iran.t how has tha experience of living overseas helped shape you? >> i think it shaped me in several ways. first of all, i grew up in a hospital compound with physicians' children from all over theworld. british, french, from the united states, au name it. an physicians. and we children all played together. and found ways of relating to one another, even though we came from different countries and spoke even different languagesso and that's one thing. the other thing i think spending time outside of the united tates gives you a better appreciation for all we have going us here. and it w everything from clean water and food and not having to worry about certain diseases to our civil liberties. a the final thing i learned is that the united states is the greatest country on earth. it's not theonly country on earth. and we can learn a great deal beyond our shores a i think the early years gave me a perspective on the world. an i how we fitto the broader context. >> and president obama also
spent time growing up overseas. he came back to america. did that create a significant boou for the two of when you first met him in? >> it did. in fact, the first it time the three of us had dinner, michel robinson, barack obama and myself, they weren't even married. we bonded around the life experiences of he and i and the three lessons i just explained were similar to w he felt growing up in his formative years in indonesia. >> in your book, you talk aboutm the ra and sexism you encountered in chicago where you practiced law before becoming a power player in city politics. how did those ences affect the way you approach your role once you got to the white house? >> i think my early life, my rofessional life, where i had a sense of feeling like an other nd not necessarily welcome and not connecting with the people made me more deliberate about bringing people in. and making them feel included.
d listening to the people around me. particularly with those who had different lifeexriences. it enriched my decisionmaking as though em feel they were part of a team. and the other thing i realized at my bigaw firm, it wasn't for me and i was miserable and i talk oenly in my book about my marriage and it wasn't fulfilling. and i felt like a failure as opposed to it j st didn't wo out. and i think had to find that inner strength to bed resilient t back up on my feet. and i look at my daughter every day and i would say, go do osomething that's going make her proud of you and step up to the plate and be a whole person andsonot look forbody else to complete you. and so in a sense, when things fell art, that was the best thing that could have happened to me. it forced me outside of my comfort zonet and made me appreciate the magic of the zigzag. the adventure of the zigzag. >> as opposed to ae.traight l >> as opposed to the straight line i was on. but it was somebody else's straight line. it wasn't my straight and i listened to the quiet voice, the one inside of and that's what motivated me to
join local government. >> let's talk a little bit about the curre administration. it's ruled backm fy legislative achievements during the obama years. what are your thoughts on that? things like the affordable care act, for example. >> well, i'm very concerned that the thought of repealing the affdable care act would lea 20 million americans without health insurance. some who have itorthe first time. one in two americans who have a preexisting condition would now be vulnerable to losing their health insurance or seeing their premiums jacked up. women who now have access to preventive care without a co-pay. young people who can stay on their parents' plan until they're 26. senior citizens who were before uthe affordable care acting their drugs in half to make them stretch. so i really worry about what message are we sending to the people of our country that we would strip such an important benefit away from them? >> and i would like to ask you as t the presidential race, well. joe biden was vice president under obama and you got to know him very welling the eight years you were there. he's now a case inappropriate
contact with women. what are your thoughts about the allegations against him? >> i think he had it right when he said it's a new day, tches haveged and it's important for men to listen. and it isn't just what your intents. it's how is it affecting the person to whom it was directed. so i found tha encouraging. i worked with him for eight years, day in and day out. he was a very important counselor to president obama, advised him on all matters, aoreign and domestic so he was an integral of our team. i think he and all of the other men out there need to fppreciate thct that times have changed. and having him speak out to that sends a messageo other men as well. >> and some people, though, have suggested that, you know, times are just differe now. and that just doesn't fly any more. and sort of stopped short of completely apologizing. do you think hislleged behavior should disqualify him from running for president? >> i think one of the great things about america i anyone n run. and it's up to the american people to decide what's disqualifying and what's not. nd the fact that we have -- this is early in the campaign. in fact, he hasn't even
in the campaign yet. means we have time to get to know alnof the dates. i think in the democratic field, we have an embarrassment of riches. ther oare so manystanding candidates who are running and those who are considering running. and i think he and everyone glse, if he decides to rus to mariah carke their case dire the people. we get to decide. >> if you were a senior adviser to the 2020 presidential candidates now, what would you tell them? >> a few things. i've had the privilege o speaking with some of them running. and my message has been the same. it's been be authentic, be optimistic about our country, explain why the american people trust your vision and your ability to execute your vision. don't beat up the others in the rimary so much that we go into the general election in a wounded state. the long view is winning the presidency, not just the primary. and finally, i say that there is a difference between campaigning, where you try to grow your base and go after those folks and speak to them and have bold ideas and
governing. where you have to be the president a for all rica. and you have to make sure that you are willing to compromise and that youer don't letct be the enemy of the good. >> and as i was reading your it book, resonated with me personally. we talked about this, because i grew up somewhere else too in vietnam, came here as a refugee. i'm also a single mother. you were a single mother forry long time. more broadly, though, for the broad audience, what do you hope readers will take away from reading your book? >> i hope that they will realize th importance of every voice. i hope they'll learn to listen to their own voices and they will feel a sense of empowerment to use their voices to be a force f good for others. i think we're all inextricably linked and i believe we have a responsibility in our community towards one anothe and th i hope going forward what continues is what i have seen all over the country, just ingly ordinary people doing incredible things. and that comes from thee seof confidence that i can make a difference.
>> it is a very optimistic booku >> thank >> congratulations. >> thank you very much. >> "finding my voice n alwayce to have you here. hope to have you back. >> love being with you. and that will do it for us. as always, to find more of our coverage, you can go to kqed.org/newsroom. tha you for joining us.
robert: just h far will president trump go to address surge?rant i'm robert costa. welcome to "washington week." president trump conrms reports that his administration may transfer immigrant detainees to sanctuary cities. >> i think spying on a political campaign is a big deal. it's a big deal. robert: andy the attorne general under fire from democrats. after claiming u.s. intelligence agencies spied on the trum campaign. >> he is the attorney general of the united states of america.t nothe attorney general of donald trump. robert: all as the nation waits for the mueller report. ut exe power. next. un